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Do either of you know what happened to the bothers who set Tarrants up? If they had done so with the backing of KKK leaders they might have been safe, otherwise it most certainly would have been very perilous for them to say in Mississippi or anywhere the group was strong.

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We do Len, actually both brothers remained in Mississippi and there is no indication that any action at all was taken

against them by their fellows or that they were at any particular risk. It was known locally that Tarrants had been set

up in the bombing and a call came into law enforcement from an informant actually signaling he was on his way to the

residence being targeted.

Not only the two brothers but other inner circle members who would have been potential inner circle members in

a position to make such a call all remained locally in Mississippi, some remaining active and none under any

apparent risk.

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We do Len, actually both brothers remained in Mississippi and there is no indication that any action at all was taken

against them by their fellows or that they were at any particular risk. It was known locally that Tarrants had been set

up in the bombing and a call came into law enforcement from an informant actually signaling he was on his way to the

residence being targeted.

Not only the two brothers but other inner circle members who would have been potential inner circle members in

a position to make such a call all remained locally in Mississippi, some remaining active and none under any

apparent risk.

Larry/Stu,

That would seem to confirm your theory. I doubt someone who’d simply ratted out let alone set up Klan members leading to the death of one and near death arrest of another would have been safe in Mississippi. Did they have a problem with Ainsworth or was she just ‘collateral damage’?

As for the Tarrants’ “quote” about rifle do you think Nelson or a third party made it up or that Tarrants lied when he denied saying it?

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Len, both Tarrants and Ainsworth were considered outsiders to a certain extent, that was their real value. Part of the pattern by that time was to use such outsiders as most of the WK inner circle was under heavy FBI pressure and to some extent under surveillance. Tarrants and Ainsworth were described as "Swift's People". However, while there are certain incidents that would have made them suspicious of Tarrants as a potential informer, we find nothing like that for Ainsworth and when you get into the details of the attack you find she was a last minute substitution. Probably collateral damage but certainly none of the guys in the know aborted it to save her either...

As to the quote, I don't think either of us have a solid opinion although I personally don't think Nelson was a person to make something like that up out of whole cloth, especially when he did nothing with it but mention it.. Stu did talk to Nelson about it - and we were amazed he didn't follow up on that thread with more questions, but apparently that was just not the story Nelson was writing. Nelson was going down hard on the FBI and the sting - that was his total focus. It remains an open question for us.

It's very possible that Tarrant's HSCA testimony might help clear it up or certain of his FBI files, unfortunately we can't get to either at present.

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It's very possible that Tarrant's HSCA testimony might help clear it up or certain of his FBI files, unfortunately we can't get to either at present.

I assume the HSCA material is exempt from FOIA since it is congressional but what did the folks from the House and FBI say in response to your requests?

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The HSCA interviews and files are being held by the House; they could actually be released in full or in part by action of the Clerk of the House. What that takes is not exactly clear. Certainly a resolution or probably even a motion would do it. Its even possible a caucus group or individual house member could request release.

The "personality" files we need on certain of the individuals should be at FBI HQ but cannot be released until the person dies or without there permission, which is not happening so no quick answer there. Field office files on several of the individuals would be invaluable but the responses to our request are that a good number of them have been destroyed based on standard destruction schedules. Others are still in the FOIA queue...some of our FBI requests are still one to three years out according to the notices we have been given.

The quick solution would be to get Justice to declare the King murder a civil rights cold case and for them to call up the files and follow out some of the leads we suggest in the book. We are working on that but obviously our leverage as two private individuals is ....well lets just say its an up hill battle.

In any event, we have a load of FOIA requests still in the queue and we won't even know how all those turn out for a couple of years...fortunately Stu is a lot younger than I am....

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Have you tried teaming up with the King family or Civil Rights Museum etc? The former may not agree with your thesis but presumably would like to see all relevant files released. Some friends of mine were able get through/around red tape concerning visas for their spouses by contacting their congressmen or senators not sure if that would work in your case.

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Good suggestions Len, actually Stu has just visited several Congresspeople this week and will be active in DC this summer on several fronts.

On the King family, that gets much more complex. First off, we are told that generally the family opposes release of the HSCA records due to the information collected by Hoover on Dr. King, material that was specifically collected and packaged to destroy not only his effectiveness but his reputation and relationship with his family....that would be in the King FBI personality files. Our response to that is that the HSCA files are categorized and what we need are investigative files, informant files, suspect files - materially having nothing to do with Dr King per se. Those categories could be pulled and released without dipping into the files relating directly to Dr King himself. Of course their are other issues including the legal representatives of the King family and where they may stand with advice on the issue.

There is another element in play though and that would be the support of the family in backing a Justice move to re-invigorate the civil rights cold case effort by adding Dr. King to the list of such cases - his murder is not on it now as it is officially considered as solved with Ray's confession to the Memphis court and his sentencing. Given that time and resources are running out on the cold case initiative, this would be a major service by the family to all those other families who still have not reached closure on the crimes of the period.

So to answer your question, we are pursuing both avenues, but the second is particular difficult because we ourselves have no particular access to the King family and that's making it very difficult to even register or proposals or deal with their concerns. We're on it though....its just particularly challenging for us... and that's probably all I better say about this subject at present.

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